ISLAMABAD -UNS: Pakistan and Afghanistan on Tuesday agreed that institutional mechanism between the two countries needed to be strengthened, saying holding of the much-awaited 7th Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Coordination Authority Meeting by the Afghan side is need of the hour.
The agreement reached during a meeting between a high-ranking Afghan Ministerial delegation that called on Secretary Commerce Mohammad Younus Dagha here.The delegation was led by Deputy Minister for Commerce Ms. Kamila Sidiqi, said a press release. During the meeting, the two sides expressed the desire to enhance trade relations between the two countries by overcoming existing challenges.The meeting resolved that all-out efforts would be made to remove impediments hampering bilateral and transit trade.
The two sides also agreed to increase interaction at technical and policy levels for the prompt resolution of confronting issues.The discussion largely hinged on the SPS/Quarantine certification and removal of regulatory duties on selected items like fresh fruits and vegetables,dry fruit to facilitate Afghanistan s exports to Pakistan as announced by the Prime Minister during his recent visit to Afghanistan. Besides, deployment of Department of Plant Protection personnel on various border crossings came under discussion.The Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research informed the delegation that the personnel had been deployed at Chaman and Torkham points initially and other border crossings would also be facilitated in due course.
The Afghan delegation thanked the Pakistan government for their hospitality and removing concerns related to Afghan traders and farmers. The Afghan delegation was comprised of members including Hamdullah Hamdard, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Mir Saeed Saeedy, Director General, International Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Khan Jan Alakozai, Head of Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Najibullah Wardak, Deputy Director, Income, Ministry of Finance, Ahmed Shakir Qarar, Deputy Director, First Political Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Edrees Raouf, Cotton Specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and Embassy officials. While, Secretary National Food Security and Research Fazal Abbas Maken, and officials of Ministry of National Food, Federal Board of Revenue and ForeignOffice assisted the Secretary Commerce during the meeting.